The Lord is my Shepherd – M. F.
I met the church while in my Sophomore year in college. I was not doing well scholastically at that time because I did not see the purpose for my life. I think this is a typical crisis for young people and the life that my parents had lived, which was ending in divorce at that time, was not fully appealing to me. So I was having difficulty staying on course on a journey I wasn’t sure I wanted to be on. This resulted in my grades being C’s and below during my Freshman year.
I had received the Lord while reading the Bible during High School, and although I probably did not appear it outwardly, I was a Christian inwardly. I had been born of God and no longer belonged to the world. Realizing I needed direction (and practical salvation) that summer, I prayed that God would do something—that he would intervene in my situation. I really did not have the assurance that He would or could do anything with my case, but He did!
He led me to the church where my faith in the Lord, my love for His word, and my experience of him skyrocketed. My realization of my future destiny with the Lord and how my present pursuit of Him affects this in the next age gave meaning to my life. I sold my motorcycle because my time on earth became precious to me and my grades went from C and below to B and above. This impressed my parents, no doubt, and I went on to get my degree, a professional job, a wife, a family, a house, etc.
Looking back I know my life changed because I learned from the brothers and sisters in the church how to enjoy the Lord in a solid and consistent way. This supply of the riches of Christ has really satisfied me and strengthened me to live a normal human life and function in the church for the building up of His Body. This has filled the last three decades of my life with meaning and joy. Like David I aspire to “dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.” Ps. 27:4
My spirit – A.C.
In fall of 2009, my world, and entire view of it, was shaken. It was around this time that I realized I wasn’t going to amount to my self-imposed expectation of graduating from my dream university. I wasn’t doing as well as I hoped in school, I had a hard time making friends, and my dorm situation was less then ideal. These situations eventually led to a life of isolation and sadness. Before the end of the semester, I dropped out. It was then when the Lord brought me back to San Antonio. Here I attended the local university in view of finishing my degree, but little did I know I was going to find God in the process.
I attended many Christian groups during my studies in San Antonio, but they all seemed to be more socially active rather than spiritually. In addition, it was a lot of “do this, don’t do that”, or “The Bible says you’re not suppose to do that”. I had no interest in people telling me what I should or should not do, my interest was to find God.
During the first few weeks of classes in San Antonio, I approached a welcome table that belonged to the group Christians on Campus. This group was different. When I met with them, it was always to either read the Bible, or read ministry to help unlock the Bible. The focus was always the Bible! They showed me how man was made with an organ to contact God – the spirit (Job 32:8). And how to exercise my spirit by calling on the Lord’s name (Rom. 10:12, 1 Cor. 12:3). Now I can say I know my God, that I know His purpose! I was enlighten to see that living the Christian life is not a matter of an outward adjustment in behavior, but rather a matter of an inward, subjective experience of Christ! Rather than being enslaved by the shackles of religious teachings, I am now an enjoy-er of His boundless grace.